Lian Li has been famed for decades for its love for lightweight aluminum cases. The company's Alpha line of chassis veer in the opposite direction, with heaping helpings of thick, heavy tempered glass laid on top of a steel framework. Last week we reported on the company's Alpha 550, and over the weekend the company took the wraps off the more-affordable Alpha 330.
The 330 can still accept mammoth E-ATX motherboards, as many as seven fans, and the largest graphics cards around. The lower-numbered model sheds costs by eliminating the 550's built-in RGB LED controller and reducing the number of tempered glass panels from four to three. Lian Li says the case can accept a 330-mm radiator on the front panel and an even larger 420-mm unit on the top.
Whatever hardware lies inside, everyone will be able to see it through the tempered glass side and front panels. Users can mount a dual-slot graphics card vertically in order to show off their pixel-pusher of choice. The left side panel has a darker tint applied to the bit that covers the power supply shroud providing a little respite for excess cabling. The Alpha 550's tempered glass top gives way to a magnetic dust filter in this model. A second dust filter slides out of the back of the bottom of the chassis. The case comes with one 120-mm fan mounted in the rear panel.
The Alpha 330 can fit any motherboard from Mini-ITX size all the way up to the plus-size E-ATX form factor. Graphics cards as long as 15.8" (40 cm) are invited to the party, as are tower CPU coolers up to 6.7" (17 cm). Lian Li didn't say how many storage devices pack rats can shove into the Alpha 330, but the case appears to have a pair of sleds for 3.5", brackets for a pair of 2.5" drives, and two more spots for 2.5" or 3.5" devices. The case has no external drive bays.
Lian Li says the Alpha 330 and the Alpha 550 should both be available from Newegg sometime this week. The Alpha 330 will sell for $109 and the Alpha 550 for $179. Both models come in white or black finishes and are covered by a two-year warranty.
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